Top Ten Sports Conspiracy Theories and Rumors that are Probably False

Of all the sports conspiracies and rumors, these are ones I believe to be false. Agree? Disagree? Vote and put your opinion or add one you think belongs on this list.
The Top Ten
1 Sonny Liston took a dive for Muhammad Ali

The conspiracy : Liston owed money to the Mob and took a dive to settle his debt. People claim either a punch never landed (this conspiracy has also been called "The Phantom Punch") or the punch wasn't hard enough to drop Liston.
My opinion : A punch absolutely did land. I put money on it that I can drop most men around my size with that same punch. That's me and we're talking about Ali here! One of the many misconceptions about throwing a punch is pulling back or "cocking" your punch will generate more power. This is false. Even though the punch was short or "chopping" you can still see Ali pivot and really "turned over" his punch. Plus Ali had a great angle on it to really pivot into it and land flush on the jaw. You can see Liston's head snap sideways from the impact. It was a short hard shot. I believe this KO to be legit.

2 Cal Ripken Jr.'s “Ironman” streak was saved by an intentional power outage

The rumor : The Baltimore Orioles purposely staged a power outage to save Ripken Jr's "Ironman" streak when they learned he couldn't play that night cause he got into a fight with actor Kevin Costner.

My opinion : This is false. He was seen suited and sitting in the dugout before the outage. And anyways, so what if he got into a fight? Unless he was arrested or got injured, which obviously wasn't the case cause it would have been known, why couldn't he play?

3 Cal Ripken Jr. beat up Kevin Costner for sleeping with his wife

The rumor : This one goes hand in hand with the Ripken "Ironman" streak conspiracy. It is claimed that Cal Ripken beat the hell out of actor Kevin Costner for sleeping with his wife.
My opinion : Both Ripken Jr and Kevin Costner have shot this rumor down. With Costner stating " "If there is something alleged, I'd love to see someone come forward. No one will, because they don't have the story to do it. There would be big money for a story like this, but it simply is not true." I believe them and think this rumor is false.

4 Michael Jordan's flu game was really just Michael being hung over from partying Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player.

The rumor : In his famous "flu game" Jordan was actually hung over from partying the night before.
My opinion : False. It was clear Jordan was suffering from something but it turns out to be neither the flu or being hung over. It was food poisoning. According to Jordan's personal trainer, Tim Grover, Jordan had a pizza delivered to his hotel room the night before the game which gave him food poisoning.

5 Wilt Chamberlain “banged” over 20,000 women Wilton Norman "Wilt" Chamberlain was an American basketball player. He was born on August 21, 1936 in Philadelphia and died on October 12, 1999 in Los Angeles due to heart failure. ...read more.

The rumor : Wilt had sexual relations with over 20,000 women
My opinion : Lol, I seriously doubt it. To reach that number when it was claimed, Walt would to have slept with about 2.5 different women a day, every day, since he first starting having sex. He was known to hit on "anything that moved" but that number seems ridiculous. I'm sure his "body count" is really up there, but 20,000? No way.

I agree with you he may have slept with a LOT of women but 20,000. Just doesn't sound possible.

6 Mike Piazza is gay

The rumor : Former MLB Mike Piazza was a closet homosexual and at one time dated KABC weatherman Sam Champion. This rumor basically started after it was announced that one of the New York Mets was gay and people assumed it to be Piazza (Lol).
My opinion : This rumor got so out of hand Piazza had to hold a press conference just to declare his is straight not gay. Anyways, since Piazza is now seemingly happily married (to a female) with children, I believe this rumor to be false.

7 Jimmy Hoffa is buried under Giants Stadium

The rumor : The Mob buried Jimmy Hoffa under Giants Stadium during its construction.

From what I can gather is this rumor started when a "hitman" named Donald ″Tony the Greek″ Frankos gave an interview for Playboy Magazine in 1986 claiming in detail the death and burial of the former Teamsters leader. He claimed Hoffa was killed by Irish Mob boss Jimmy Coonan in a house near Detroit, Michigan. Frank's then claims Hoffa's body was taken the construction site for Giants' Stadium and buried under concrete which is below the artificial turf on the playing field near section 107 of the stadium.
My opinion : Because nothing was found when the concrete under the field was dug up while replacing the artificial turf years after Hoffa was supposedly buried there, I think this is probably false. However they only dug a little over four feet into the concrete so...

8 The 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Kings was fixed by the NBA

The conspiracy : The refs rigged the series for The Lakers to win.
My opinion : I doubt it. The series didn't seem fixed or rigged to me but game 6 was questionable. No doubt the officiating was bad for that game. But my thing is I see bad officiating from time to time, does that mean all those games are rigged too? I think it was just a night of bad officiating on an important game and that's it. Until someone involved comes forward, I'll chalk this conspiracy to be false.

9 David Stern rigged the 1985 NBA Draft

The conspiracy : The 1985 draft was rigged by NBA Commissioner David Stern for the New York Knicks to get the #1 draft pick in order to draft Patrick Ewing to a "big name market".
My opinion : Maybe but doubtful in my opinion. There are two versions of this story (another reason why I have doubts). Version #1 is "they" (The NBA, David Stern?) put the envelope containing the New York Knicks in the freezer or refrigerator so the envelope would be cold to the touch so Stern could feel which envelope was the Knick's. Version #2 is that "they" creased the corner of the envelope again so Stern could feel which one to choose for the Knicks. I can't find any credibility to the first version but the second version has a little substance to it. When David Stern pulled out the envelope, it did appear to be slightly folded on one of the corners. However, to me, it appears to have occurred while "tumbling" around with the other envelopes while being mixed before drawing. Doesn't appear to be ...more

10 Michael Jordan’s 1st retirement was really a suspension Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player.

The conspiracy : When Jordan retired while still in his prime after the 1993 season, some believe it was really a suspension from the league for gambling on NBA games.

My opinion : Probably false. But I would not be surprised if true. It does SEEM to appear that Jordan may have a gambling problem/addiction. He was even spotted in a casino in the early morning hours before game 2 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals. However, besides him seemingly having a gambling problem, I need to see something more then that (just having a gambling problem) to say he was actually betting on NBA games. I have never seen or found ANY evidence of him betting on NBA games and I would think somebody in "the know" would have come forward by now...or maybe everyone was paid off?
Note : If anyone has come across information on Jordan betting on NBA games, let me know. Shoot me a link or something.

The Contenders
11 Usain Bolt took illegal performance-enhancing drugs
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